iGEM Entrepreneur: A Pipeline for Teams to Build Startups

Kim de Mora

iGEM teams are known for incredible innovation and for achieving an amazing volume of work in short periods of time. Though several teams have gone on to form startups, they represent a small percentage of the overall number of participants. Incubators and accelerators for startups exist, but not all iGEM teams have fully formed ideas or are ready or able to drop out of college to participate. The iGEM Entrepreneur program aims to fill the gap in both time and knowledge for iGEM teams who want to start a business but aren’t quite ready. This virtual accelerator will allow teams to continue to work on their ideas and provide them with resources from community members who have already gone through the process. The program would greatly benefit from the SynBio entrepreneurship community’s help with creating a series of videos, providing a mentorship program, and participating in the final evaluation. This evaluation could be virtual, or it could take the form of onsite presentations so teams have a final “demo day” on which to focus their efforts. The overall aim of the program is to allow iGEMers to leverage our brand and network to raise funds for their company while preparing them to enter a business accelerator.